I am going to start a new addition to my lunch series: Freezer Lunch.
What is a freezer lunch?
So let me start with saying I hate food waste. It’s up there with homework as one of my top dislikes. Why? Because so many people around the world are starving and there is no excuse to waste food. Either buy less or use everything you have. My mom would always guilt me as a kid saying there were starving kids around the world, when I complained about eating something I didn’t want to eat. Well Mom, guilt trip accomplished.
Now a freezer lunch, I think everyone is familiar with microwavable lunches. Lean Cuisine, Stouffers, and whatever else is being pushed as healthy these days are in every freezer aisle in America. I’m here to tell you that you are most likely wasting your money. These “meals” are chock full of preservatives and mystery meat to give you the illusion that you are eating something healthy and/or delicious. If you want to continue eating these, I’m not here to judge, but I choose not to. I never really have, I wasn’t allowed access to these growing up and having tasted them as an adult, I see I wasn’t really missing out.
The microwavable/reheatable meal is not a bad idea in it of itself. It just should not be a meal that is full of chemicals and poor quality ingredients. That’s where Freezer Lunch comes in. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a lunch, but I am always most hungry at lunch and therefore I don’t like to not have a home-lunch option.
The simple premise of this idea is that almost everyone has leftovers, I know I do. Try cooking for two people and see how often you end up cooking for 6 or 8. So with all that extra food, often times there is no way I can finish it all in a week before it goes bad. So I freeze the main component (if I can). I’ve touched on freezing before, you can freeze almost anything. Your best results are with a sauce or soup (i.e. Spaghetti Sauce!). Once your main dish is frozen, you can re-heat it at any point in the next few months and I guarantee your food will taste better than anything you can buy from a grocery store frozen food aisle. If you think about it, you are eating 3 month old food anyways, if not older. By the time your freezer meal is made, processed, packaged, distributed, stocked on your shelf, and then put into your shopping bag, I would venture to say it’s at least a month old by that point.
3 Cups Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs (I will post a sauce post in the future, but for freezer lunch purposes you can even use a sauce you bought or made)
1 Package of Gluten Free La Pasta Linguine
3 Handfuls of Washed Spinach (quickly sauteed in a pan with some olive oil, drain the water)
Freeze your spaghetti sauce ahead of time into individual sandwich bags. Label them with a date so you know how old it is in your fridge. When you are ready to eat, just cook up some of the pasta and spinach and plate it in a glass tupperware. I topped it with Ricotta.
I buy non dry pasta, so I freeze it as well. Non dry pasta cooks in 3 to 5 minutes and in my opinion has a superior taste.
This will yield about 4 to 5 lunches depending on your portion size.